A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that hybrid vehicles are more likely to be involved in accidents with pedestrians and bicyclists under certain scenarios. According to state-level accident data, 77 of 8,387 hybrid vehicles (that's .9 percent) were involved in crashes with pedestrians and 48 (.6 percent) were found to have been in accidents with bicyclists.
By way of comparison, 3,578 of 559,703 non-hybrid vehicles (.6 percent) were involved in pedestrian accidents and 1,862 (.3 percent) were involved with bicyclists. Tellingly, the NHTSA data shows that hybrid vehicles are twice as likely as non-hybirds to be involved in pedestrian or bicyclist accidents at low speeds when the internal combustion engine is not running.
These statistics are not a complete representation of all accidents nationwide, and NHTSA is quick to point out that additional research is necessary before any final conclusions can be made. Still, this is valuable data that "should serve as a guide when designing future HEV pedestrian and bicyclist crash prevention programs."
[Source: NHTSA - PDF via Consumer Reports]